Ten best films of 2001

Image: Ten best films of 2001:Columbia Pictures Black Hawk Down :

Image: Ten best films of 2001:Columbia Picture’s “Black Hawk Down” :

Jason Okamoto

Back in the ?60s, the possibilities of cinema seemed infinite. This was mostly to the credit of the French New Wave, an avant-garde movement in France, where critics and theorists of cinema began making their own films. Unfortunately, it couldn?t last forever. At the time, master Director Carl Dreyer, although agreeing with the New Wave?s intentions, was skeptical. “I just have a feeling that they are waves that will slide back into the sea again, but perhaps they will then produce new waves there.” Well, it?s been three decades and unfortunately, that next wave has not hit the shore. 2001, however, has shown some glimmers of hope. Here are ten of them:

1. “In The Mood for Love”

Wong Kar Wia?s film is about two neighbors who discover that their significant others are having an affair. This beautiful movie exquisitely transforms and then translates different moods of sadness, pain and love.

2. “Mulholland Drive”

A haunting story that director David Lynch calls “A love story in the city of dreams.” No other film this year is as sexy, scary or surreal.

3. “Bully”

The brutal nature of life is played out before our eyes when a group of kids decide to murder the local bully.

4. “Black Hawk Down”

Ridley Scott questions the United States? involvement in foreign affairs while augmenting perceptions of the modern war picture genre. The action in this film is some of the best I have ever seen.

5. “The Fast and the Furious”

The funniest movie of the year by far; it?s so stupid it has to be smart. A brilliant, disorganized essay about racism in society shown through street-racing culture.

6. “Memento”

The first movie with the guts to be completely backwards. Yes, it can cause headaches, and by the end you?re not left with much (kind of like “The Matrix”), but the trip itself is worth taking.

7. “Waking Life”

Shot on digital camera and then painted over with animation, watching this movie feels like sitting in on a thought-provoking college lecture while on “mind-enhancing” drugs.

8. “Gosford Park”

Whenever snobbish British people gather in a large country estate, you know someone is getting murdered. Robert Altman has tediously threaded a humorous murder mystery that delivers a strong message about classism.

9. “The Circle”

Unjust attitudes toward women are magnified in this film set in a country where simply being female is a crime. Iranian Filmmaker Jafar Panahi suceeds with this heartbreaking film.

10. “Made”

It?s no “Swingers,” but it?s a perfect follow up from Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn. “Made” shows that it is possible to keep your sense of humor while trying to make a living.

Honorable Mentions:

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer?s Stone”/”The Fellowship of the Ring”

Not only do both of these films exercise a viewer?s imagination, they also make a bold corporate statement: Movies this rich in imagination don?t need to be released in the summer.

Also: “Spy Kids,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Amelie,” “In the Bedroom,” “Innocence” and “A.I.”